Getting out of debt can be accomplished if you have a job or start a blog/online business and looking for a job has never been so easy to do. All you have to do is open up your internet browser and search from the comfort of your home. Unfortunately, though it may be significantly easier to find a job, it is also a lot easier to get scammed. Here are seven things to look out for when you are searching for a job online.
1. Guaranteed exclusive government listings and position
This is a very common scheme where they offer you a special list of government jobs that no one can have access to without paying a small fee. They reel people in by saying that there are government positions available in their area and you can learn more with a small fee. The Federal Trade Commission says that any information on any government position is free and they are available at usajobs.gov. The applications are also free.
2. Charging you a small fee for the application
Lately there have been a lot of scammers who have been taking logos and company brands and acting as recruiters. They use companies that people trust and don’t think twice about checking them out before giving over money and information. One huge red flag would be that they have an @gmail.com. Any established company will have their own domain name after the @.
There are others that have been buying domain names that resemble the original to throw people off. If you feel uneasy about any application or job posting, do a little bit of research. Check the original website to see if they have their own email system and if it matches with the recruiter you are talking to.
3. They are desperate to hire
Though it is possible that this may happen, it is very rare that they would be desperate enough to not even interview you. When I wanted to work in Alaska, they needed people immediately, but they still required me to completely fill out the (free) application, complete an over the phone interview, and pass a background check.
If they pretty much say that you are hired after you have only given them your name and address, you should be suspicious before giving them any more information. Another sign that should lead to suspicion is if they say that “no skills are required.” “No experience necessary” would be fine because there are many entry level positions out there but you still need some sort of skills. This isn’t an automatic no-go, but be cautious before continuing.
4. They demand bank information or a credit card
Jobs sometimes do need information in order to provide direct deposit or to run a background check. A credit card should be a red flag though since they can’t deposit your paychecks into that. If you haven’t been hired and they have displayed any other scam signs, you definitely should not give them any of that information because they can steal all of your money.
5. You need to pay upfront
The FTC warns about schemes that say they need you to pay before you receive anything. There are close to no jobs that will require you to pay for the training in order to get the job position. The only thing that they may say is that you do not get paid for the training or you need to provide your own transportation to the site. The job in Alaska required me to provide my own transportation there, which was not great, but that is something that would make sense, since I am trying to go work in a whole different state.
Now if you are searching for an online position, those are a little tricky. If it is a position with a company, you shouldn’t have to pay for anything besides your own internet. If you are trying to get training to start your own business or blog, you may need to pay because you are receiving training only, they are not necessarily offering you a position.
Do know that there are those that will scam you into handing out thousands of dollars, and there are those that can offer free accounts, like Wealthy Affiliate, and then if you want further training and support, you would have to pay a monthly or yearly fee.
6. If they say that the job involves getting checks or if they “accidentally” overpay you
This is a scam that is common in “personal assistant” positions. The position usually says that you will be running errands, receiving packages and sending packages etc. They send you a check and then you keep your pay and everything else gets sent elsewhere. They can also “accidentally” over pay you and then ask you to send back the money.
They do this by using fake checks from faraway places. These checks take longer to get checked which provides enough time to purchase money cards/send back the money before the bank takes the money back when they find out it is fake.
If you feel that you are about to be scammed, call the bank that is on the check and talk to them. It takes less than 10 minutes to find out that that check has already been used/fake.
7. Last but not least, does it feel right?
Your gut can be your biggest defense mechanism. If you feel that something is not right, do more research. Search for all the good reviews and the bad reviews. Check out their websites and see what those say. Don’t give any information until you feel that they are legit companies that truly want to hire you and not just scam you.
If you have any other tips and red flags to add to this list, please let us know in the comments below! Thank you for your time, have a lovely day!